The FBHVC monthly report

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The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs represents our interests nationally, fighting for those who enjoy using their Classic Cars.

Robin Astle, our Club's FBHVC representative gives a monthly report on what's going on.

Robin Astle

September 2019

by Robin Astle.

From FBHVC Newsletter 2019 No. 3

Legislation & Fuels Bob Owen

Environmental Issues

London ULEZ

It is probably useful to restate the advice we have recently given on access to the ULEZ. Vehicles in the ‘historic’ taxation class simply are exempt from ULEZ charges.

We are conscious that not too many of our members will wish to enter the zone, not least because access involves entering the Congestion Zone, from which historic vehicles are not exempt.

Some people have been misled by the Transport for London ULEZ ‘Checker’ page. But this page is misleading, as it is based solely on emissions ratings and does not appear to recognise the historic exemption. If however a driver were to click through the links from the Checker to the payment section they would indeed find they do not have to pay!

Rest of the UK

The roll-out is continuing. The Federation is currently in, or is about to enter into active engagement with the following Authorities; Birmingham City, Tyneside and Transport Scotland.

We are finding that a frequent issue we have to raise is continued access for ‘heritage’ buses, which may not be in the’ historic’ taxation class if they are required for any reason to have an operating certificate. The Federation nevertheless considers the occasional access of heritage buses to be an important contribution to the history of the nation and thus of considerable cultural value. We will continue to support heritage bus operators, many of whom are of course museums in their quest to obtain some sort of access to zones, a right which they would of course only be exercising occasionally, and thus not to any significant harm to the environment.

There are also some cases, of which Scotland, which is setting up a template for its cities, is the major one, and the inner Newcastle area is another example, where the authorities wish to impose traffic exclusions (i.e. a ban) instead of simply a charge.

The Federation takes the view that the consequences of a ban rather than a charge are significantly more serious, particularly for a resident owning a historic vehicle and for anyone operating a business which deals in historic vehicles. The Federation thus raises the question in those cases of whether the internationally recognised 30 year limit on what is defined as a historic vehicle, rather than the UK ‘historic’ class, which is of course set at 40 years old, should be used. The current intention to rely on ANPR cameras, which are able to recognise ‘historic’ class vehicles for enforcement probably means we have an uphill battle to get this principle accepted, but we do not intend to give up on this.

DVLA by Ian Edmunds

Following on from the general comments on our DVLA meeting made by Bob Owen, I set out some of the specific matters discussed.

The various long-running issues surrounding the registration of vehicles first supplied in CKD form were further discussed. DVLA explained their difficulty in issuing a first registration for any vehicle where the precise date of manufacture could not be shown. As the despatch date from the mother factory is generally available we enquired if a standard of three to six months after that date could not be adopted. A further request was made to DVLA to finally accept that CKD is a long-standing and widespread motor industry process and that vehicles constructed in this manner are not kit cars.

The attention of DVLA was drawn to a particular CKD vehicle where, after months of correspondence and dispute with the owner and the appropriate club, DVLA had suddenly capitulated, accepted the suggested manufacture date and registered it. Our contacts were unaware of this case but have undertaken to come back to us with their comments on the whole CKD situation.

Attempts were made to hold a constructive discussion concerning the apparently totally inconsistent attitude of DVLA to the registration of vehicles where the manufacture date is marked directly on the vehicle, either in plain language or encoded in a 17 character VIN. DVLA stated that provided the normal supporting information was supplied by an appropriate club such vehicles could normally be registered without problem. We had to tell them that this statement was in contradiction with information supplied by our members. We will supply further examples to DVLA but we have to be cautious that issued registrations are not withdrawn for some perceived error in their issue.

One area where some constructive progress was made concerns Q plates. You may recall that following the tightening of the rules concerning appeals against the issue of Q plates, suddenly announced by DVLA in the autumn of 2017, FBHVC requested that particular consideration be given to now historic vehicles for which adequate dating evidence now existed to support the issue of a normal age-related registration. To assist in this process the Federation compiled details of four examples which we considered to be typical and sent them to DVLA for their consideration. We were told that all four were considered eligible for normal registration and that a list of requirements for such cases had been drawn up and a copy would be sent to us. We will, of course, share this as soon as we are able.

We took advantage of the meeting to pass on the concerns expressed by a number of clubs that a significant proportion of first registration applications, many in a format that had been accepted for a number of years, were now being rejected. Additionally, that the rejection letters very often did not provide any useful explanation of why the application had been rejected. I am not sure that we were believed!

Following both some alarming reports from member clubs and the Federations direct communication with DVLA over the last year or so a request was made for a definitive list of which documents DVLA requires the original and of which they can accept authorised copies. The request was made with reference to both V765 and first registration applications. A list has been promised.

By the time our meeting had finished Swansea was justifying its reputation of being one of the wettest cities in the country as rain was falling heavily. As I drove back eastwards the rain continued almost until I left Wales. Somehow it seemed to typify our day.


Parking (Code of Practice) Bill

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has achieved a change in the law with his Private Member’s Bill, the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and is now awaiting Royal Assent from the Queen to become law. In each Parliamentary session only 1% of MP's manage to change the law through the Private Members Bill procedure.

Following the ban on wheel clamping in 2012, privately issued parking ‘tickets’ soared to 4.7 million last year – one every 7 seconds with a number of these issued in dubious circumstances.

Sir Greg’s Bill, which enjoyed cross-party support, including the backing of the Government, introduces a statutory code of practice for private parking companies which will prevent motorists being unfairly treated.

Sir Greg explains: “The clear majority of car park providers are honest and fair but unscrupulous rogues are undermining the whole sector with bad practice. These dodgy operators have been engaging in practices such as deliberately unclear signage, ticketing people whist they are getting change and even when their own parking payment machines are out of order. Until now the law was powerless to prevent this”.

“This new law will do nothing to diminish the rights of landowners to earn a fair income from their land, including seeking redress when motorists don’t play by the rules. But the scales needed to be rebalanced, so the system is now fair for all involved. This change will help stamp out rogues in the industry”.

The Government will be consulting on the contents of the new Code of Practice, which they are now mandated to introduce, shortly.



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